Monday, July 1, 2013

"Is it that Grey?" Untold Bits from Wild West & MUCH More

I'm generally pretty inclusive on all details of my horsey life on this blog, but now it's time for a little confession. There was a fairly significant, kind of amusing part of the Wild West  story from a few weekends ago that I left out, and is best explained by the title:

"Is it that Grey?"

The night before I left for Wild West a sale listing for an 8 yr old 14.2 hand grey Rushcreek gelding came up on my local Craigslist. With Desire's trail future uncertain, Blaze content cruising LDs, and Sheza a few years out from saddle work, I've always got my eye out for that just right 6-10 yr old partner to do 50s and multi-days with as my teenagers age and my filly grows up. Joey was a cool horse and great learning experience and I am happy that I set him on a path to his new home where he is well suited and enjoyed daily, just as I am grateful and happy to now welcome Rushcreek Tracer, or "Scrappy," who I think is the perfect steady partner for me.

Back to the story, I exchanged a quick flurry of emails with the folks selling him and they assured me they would in fact be heading to Wild West themselves and would bring the gelding along for folks to look at. What good fortune! I've driven hours and hundreds of miles to look at horses, and here was a great prospect of the right age, size, and experience, being brought to the very spot we were headed! Too good to be true, I wondered? I knew Rushcreek's had a great reputation for sound bodies and minds, and this guy Scrappy, AERC# H48905,  had a pretty darn solid record with no pulls after 2 LDs, 2 50s, and a successful go at the Virginia City 100 miler last year!

So basically, when I wasn't riding 2 LDs or joshing around camp I was making endless circles around the Wild West camp with J or N going, "is that the grey?" "wait, is THAT the grey?" There were actually a few Rushcreek greys there that weren't him, and then there was this cute, stout little guy with a smushy smeared illegible maybe-brand? standing next to a clearly branded Rushcreek. N and I thought we had found Scrappy on Friday night, but we were never sure until Sunday when I saw the young couple walking by with a Rushcreek grey and piped up. Turns out that little stout grey from Friday night WAS Scrappy, and yes his Rushcreek clover is terribly smudged. Just gives him character, right! :)

After liking the look and air of him at Wild West, we made plans and met at Spenceville last Saturday and rode 6 or 7 miles with a few nice hills in 100+ heat. Scrappy had never worn boots and gently, non-dramatically tried to lay down when I put a boot on his front hoof. We said NO and he stood right back up politely. After a firm word the Renegades went right on nicely and he stepped out in them with no issue.

Scrappy decked out in a hodge podge of gear, but it worked! 
We went through a few streams and some majorly sucking mud and trotted and cantered hills without a single boot issue. Got to love Renegades! Scrappy was a steady, mostly confident, but non aggressive ride. He has a very kind eye and Blaze's zen-like air to him, but is a business-like mover and really steps out at the walk and gets er done at the trot. He liked to cut off the other horse in close quarters but wasn't mean about it, and he jog-trotted away from them happily on a loose rein. His movement is efficient, non flashy, not a lot of knee action. Comfortable to ride and feels like he'll go forever. He has a short neck and is very good with his feet, so I seriously need to learn to sit back and relax instead of being up in his face steering like I do on my other horses. He uses his hind end as a surprisingly powerful and steady motor of his own volition and is a pleasure to ride. I finished the ride in a halter with no bit. He looks at things and will smoothly slide away if he thinks the footing isn't great, but there was not a single spook to be had, hallelujah. He ate everything he could and drank at the stream crossings, and was thisclose to drinking out of my water bottle back at the trailers. He likes to sniff everything and likes goodies, for sure!

After the ride we cooled the horses in the creeks and I gave them a deposit. :)
 My appointment this morning with Desire was at the new Loomis Equine Vet Facility in Penryn which was in fact a few streets over from where Scrappy lived. The plan was to spend a few hours at the vet, load Scrappy in with Desire, and head home. It was hot, like 105+ hot.

At Loomis facility, it's very clean and nice! 
Yeah well, that's why there are plans A, B and C, right? Turns out they had me listed under the wrong doctor, so in fact the lameness specialist that I needed was busy until tomorrow and would most likely get the extent of the exam and work up done Wednesday morning. Board including feed and mashes was reasonable at $28 a night, we'd hauled this far, and considering the worsening heat of the afternoon I didn't mind her getting worked with earlier in the day instead.

Desire checking out the barn
 It was incredibly weird to leave her there but leave her we did, and they promised to call regularly with updates as the doctor got to her and the work up progressed. The vet we talked with did watch her walk and trot out and did a quick evaluation confirming a definite deterioration in her left flank and some short striding/lameness in that left hind. So, the wait continues!

Bye Desire, be good. She promptly took a huge pee and crap in her stall, btw, classic :)
 We picked up Scrappy pretty non eventfully. He had never been in a straight load and was certainly concerned about it, but totally willing to try when the gal asked him to go in. He stepped in, out, in, out, and with futher encouragement made it cautiously all the way in and started gobbling hay. All right, good boy!

On the way out we noticed we were leaking what looked like transmission fluid and we had a rather tense haul home, to say the least! The tranny is definitely leaking and the truck is going in first thing in the morning but THANKFULLY we made it home safely.

Here's Scrappy checking out his digs, currently in the big front field with the goats, and the Blaze/Sheza/ mini herd sharing a fenceline.

They were all enthusiastic to see him, then noticed maybe it wasn't Desire and paused a good while before continuing down to meet him.
 This is very flashy for him, I sent this to his previous owners and she said she had never seen him so animated. Go guy!
 Surprised and swerving away from the white lurking goat
 Sheza has decided it's time to go say HI
 They hung in the shade and then came charging back up the hill when they saw me in the pasture topping off the troughs. Pretty picture seeing he and the filly power trot up the hill. towards me!
 Enjoying the shade
 The dorks coming to say hi, but Sheza had to spook at the water trough on the way by, Haha
 Blazer looking good after his multi day experience
The horses are still striding around checking out who's who and I'll check on them again in a few at feeding time. Not sure I'll make Gold Country ride this weekend as planned, my priorities now are getting the truck fixed and getting Desire home hopefully Wednesday but maybe Thursday at this rate. We'll see!

Hey--Welcome home Scrappy!


  1. Exciting! I'm glad "that gray" turned out to be "the one"! Welcome Scrappy! (I know his old owners, small world!) He is super cute, another white horse to keep clean, maybe he won't be too piggy.

    I was hoping all day for an update on Desire, guess I have to wait. Loomis will treat her well, I bet there new facility is nice.

    Hoping for lots of good new stories to come.

  2. Congrats on the new acquisition! I love the look of Scrappy, and he's just the right size! Great ride record, too! Keeping my fingers crossed the vets are able to figure out what's doing on with Desire as well.

  3. He is *super* cute. Looks like you done good! Fingers crossed for your Miss D!

  4. Such a cutie. Hope he can move out with that fancy trot and strut his stuff for future vet checks ;-)

  5. What a cute horse--says I, the QH person.

  6. Congrats on the new horse! He is very cute!

  7. Woohoo! He looks to be a cutie and sounds lovely. Now you have an extra backup pony which I've learned now that I too want someday (very handy when main mounts go on the fritz!)